Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Steubenville Rape Case - Yes, I'm Blogging About It

I generally prefer not to blog about things in the media, however I feel as if it's my responsibility as a woman and a mother, to speak up.

If you have not heard about this horrifying case, a quick Google search will give you endless results to brush up on it, if you wish.

I'd like to start this with stating my disgust with CNN reporters for how they expressed sympathy for the 2 rapists after they had been sentenced a couple of days ago. I know I'm not alone with this feeling of disgust. I've seen many other people expressing a degree of sympathy for the rapists. People have talked about how their lives are ruined, how they were promising football stars, how hard it must be for them etc. How about the victim? The girl who while incapacitated was raped, urinated on, dragged around and photographed. That girl will have to deal with this in one way or another, for the rest of her life. With the support of her friends and family, she will get stronger, she will get better, she will move on and have a good life. But nothing will make that event go away. The emotional and mental toll that this type of thing has on a person is tremendous. 

There is NO EXCUSE for the actions of those two rapists that night. There is NO EXCUSE for the teens who took photographs and videos. There is NO EXCUSE for all of the witnesses who watched and did nothing. There is NO EXCUSE for the authorities who attempted to sweep the case under the rug.

Kudos to Anonymous for being an advocate for the victim and getting this story out there. And also to the blogger who captured screenshots of the twitter conversations about the event.

In regards to the sentencing, I have read many things that have said something along the lines of, What difference would a harsher sentence/more time really make? A harsher sentence would drive home the fact that what they did is absolutely inexcusable. Not only for Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, but for everyone. Furthermore, it would give a more profound sense of justice to the victim. That justice is just another piece in the healing process. People stress the fact that they will have to register as sex offenders. Of course they will! They ARE sex offenders! They earned that title all on their own.

Lets not forget, not only did Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond digitally rape, urinate on and photograph this girl, they also joked and bragged about it on twitter, as well as shared the images of the girl after the fact. Many other witnesses discussed the event as well, all negative toward the victim. Even other teen girls. They called it rape, they KNEW it was wrong.

There is an enormous problem here. This problem goes beyond just these teens lacking basic compassion and morals. This is an issue with the football culture there in Steubenville, where the "stars" are regarded as above the law. This is an issue with lack of parental involvement where it matters. This is an issue with society. There is so much that urgently needs to be addressed and the Steubenville Rape Case has brought it to light. Things MUST change.

We're in 2013 and it astounds me that victim blaming in rape cases is still so prevalent. There is absolutely no excuse for rape. No. Excuse.

The sentencing in this case was a slap on the wrist. Just look at it all together. Go read the tweets. Go watch the video.

EDIT: Friday, March 22, 2013
I watched the Steubenville special on ABC's 20/20 tonight. I am so deeply disappointed in the clear sympathy garnering for the rapists and the little compassion expressed for the victim. Comparing Ma'lik and his past to "The Blind Side"? Come on now ABC, that was in poor taste and if I were Michael Oher, I'd be furious.

The thing I am much, MUCH more disappointed about is what I saw while following the #ABC2020 hashtag discussion on twitter. I think sickened by, is probably more accurate actually. Women were calling the victim a "Ho" and other names along those lines. Both men and women were blaming the victim.

We need to teach our children better. We NEED to. This needs to be a discussion with your teens. We need to raise our younger children knowing better than this teen generation does right now. There is another similar case going on in CT right now.

The victim blaming mentality too many people have toward this type of situation is just unacceptable. The perpetrators need to be held fully responsible for their actions. No excuses.


StaceyN said...

I completely agree with you!

IMakeLotsOfBabies said...

This is a sad sad case.

Allison said...

The whole thing makes me angry, but the victim-blaming is what pisses me off the most. These people can't think for themselves and will repeat anything they read or hear from their peers.

IMakeLotsOfBabies said...

The victim blaming infuriates me.

IMakeLotsOfBabies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This can be regarded as a case with multiple victims but the media only centered on Jane Doe being the only victim. the reason many "blame the victim" is because she decided to be irresponsible drinkin alcohol as an underage child and even when told not to go with Trent several times, she still did. Some people honestly dont know when other people are incapacitated because they still see them moving or because.they themselves are irresponsible. Actions have consequences, you have to live and learn from them.

IMakeLotsOfBabies said...

There were witnesses who were referring to her as "dead" because she was so passed out. That would lead me to believe there wasn't any question as to whether she was unable to give consent or not.